Large Beetles

By William T. Hathaway

Large beetles

When a person tells of a monstrous bug found on their porch early in the morning, chances are the culprit was one of our large beetles. The male giant stag beetle (upper image) and the large Hercules beetles (lower images) are often attracted to lights.

Although the male giant stag beetle looks ferocious with its mandibles nearly as long as the body, the mandibles are fixed like antlers and are not capable of pinching.

Hercules beetles are grayish-green with blackish smears. Maturing specimens are chestnut brown until they develop a grayish color. The male eastern Hercules beetle has a large middle horn, reaching down to an upwardly curved horn from below. These fixed horns are not capable of pinching. Hercules beetles, sometimes called unicorn beetles, are amazingly strong. When carelessly handled, the leg spines can pierce your hand.